Mustapha Yussif, the Minister of Youth and Sports Designate, has denied media report connecting him to the bussing of people to register in the Yagaba Kubori Constituency during last year's national identification registration exercise.
A news report from an Accra-based media organisation, showed at the vetting of Mr Yussif, at the Parliament House, in Accra implicated the nominee, then boss of the National Service Scheme, for using buses of the Scheme to convey registrants from other parts of the country to the constituency.
However, Mr Yussif told the Appointments Committee, where he was vetted for the position of Minister of Youth any Sports, that he was not personally involved in the bussing of the registrants.
As a member of the then, and still ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Yussif was accused in the footage for using his directorship position to bus the registrants to the constituency, which the accusers equated to partisan political activity.
However, Mr Yussif told the Committee, sitting at the Parliament House, in Accra that he was not personally involved in the bussing of the registrants, and when he got to know that National Service buses were being used, he advised against it.
Mr Yussif, said buses acquired during the headship of Mr Vincent Koagbenu that stood idle were later arranged to be rented, and it was some of such buses that an association rented to send people to the constituency to register.
In the course of his explanation, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, the Chairman of the Committee suggested no illegality in using rented buses for a national exercise, and asked, “Were they showing party cards? Not all.”
On a question on why the National Service Scheme, which was deemed to be less endowed than the Ghana Education Service (GES), donated 10 pickup vehicles to the Service, Mr Yussif explained that the idea was to forge a collaboration to support school farms to produce more food for the Free SHS Policy.
Also, the National Service Act, Act 426, empowers the National Service Board to introduce new models into the scheme, the Minister Designate said, adding that it was a practice of the Service to support other public service oriented organizations, especially during the National Service Week celebrations.
On the recommendation by the Justice Dzamefe Committee to ban the airlifting of supporters with the taxpayers money to support international tournaments, such as those in Egypt and Australia,the nominee said everywhere in the world, supporters were sent to give their moral support to their national teams.
However, since the practice is being queried in Ghana, the Minister Designate explained that there was the need to rebrand sports to attract sponsorship from corporate institutions.
Mr Yussif described himself as “believer of engagement” and would engage other stakeholders on the need to charge realistic fees for watching sporting activities, and adopt a cost sharing formula to promote private public partnership to maintain the nation's sports facilities.
He said the stadia can also be used for social programmes to get revenue and indicated that a Sports Development Fund was in the offing.
The Minister Designate, called on stakeholders to come on board to improve Ghana's performance in international football tournaments.
He said: “Our performance in international tournaments when it comes to football is something we have to look at as a country. What I have observed is that preparation for tournaments is done in the year of the tournament.
“If given the opportunity, I will engage the stakeholders like GFA and the National Sports Authority (NSA) to see how we can have a plan on these.
“As a country, we have to come together and see how best we can have a comprehensive short-term and medium-term plan for our national teams so that we can improve our ratings.”
Ghana Black Satellites coach, Abdul Karim Zito has dismissed allegations of match-fixing against The Gambia.
Ghana were stunned 2-1 in the final Group C game to stay four points despite taking an early lead in the game.
The Black Satellites qualified as the third best-qualified team despite the defeat.
A question posed by a journalist in a post-match, Karim Zito admits his team were beaten and the idea of match-fixing is out of place.
“It is never, it is never an arranged match, we were beaten, seriously we were beaten," he said.
“I have not even thought about that, we were beaten.
“This is a match both countries want to win and we lost.
“As a coach, you have to understand and take your defeat in good faith.
“And then when you get the opportunity again you do an amendment.
“So it wasn’t a fixed, it was a good match we played.
“You saw we were playing, we want to score, they also want to defend, they don’t want us to beat them.
“It is far from what you are thinking, we have accepted, we were beaten, that’s all.” Karim Zito said in a post-match after the defeat to The Gambia.
Ghana will next play unbeaten Cameroon on Thursday in the quarter-finals.
National Women’s Premier league (NWPL) side, Berry Ladies FC, has denied reports of an assault on Gifty Osei, a player of Thunder Queens FC during the last league game at the Madina Astroturf on Sunday.
Berry Ladies defeated Thunder Queens FC 3-1 in the said game.
A statement issued by Berry Ladies on Monday said, “Our attention has been drawn to a press release by Thunder Queens FC with the heading, CLARIFICATION OF A PLAYER BEING SLAPPED.
“To set the Records straight, no supporter of Berry Ladies Football Club slapped the said player, Gifty Osei during our match with Thunder Queens Fc. However, our attention was drawn to a certain disturbance in the stands and we drew the attention of the Match Commissioner who requested for the Police and other security present to take the necessary action.
“We, therefore, urge the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and all stakeholders to disregard the allegations of attack on a Thunder Queens FC Player as there were no fans allowed in the stadium.”
However, a communique from Thunder Queens management rubbished the denial saying Osei, the victim was accused wrongfully of a crime and while trying to vindicate herself, she was slapped by a supporter.
It added that, a complaint has been officially sent to the Ghana Football Association and hoped that the video of the match would be critically looked at for the necessary actions to be taken.
Thunder Queens Management pleaded with stakeholders to be calm as the team awaited a response from the football governing body.
Suspended Lagos State scrabble coach Effiong Bassey has exclusively told The PUNCH that he received a call from a fellow scrabble player asking him to admit that he cheated at a competition, which led to his ban, but insists he was “wrongly accused of cheating.”
The Nigeria Scrabble Federation suspended Bassey from all scrabble activities for 18 months following an alleged violation of the federation’s rules and regulation.
Chairman, Publicity Committee of the NSF, Akintunde Akinsemola, told The PUNCH that Effiong, a scrabble coach with the Lagos State Sports Commission, was caught cheating during a competition in Surulere, Lagos January 30.
“He violated some of our rules. He actually cheated during a tournament in Lagos,” Akintunde said.
“Effiong, who is a player and a coach employed by Lagos State Government, actually placed his phone on his lap, which is forbidden. It (phone) is contraband anytime we have a tournament. He was using his phone to check for words and unfortunately, his opponent never had any idea about what he was doing. It was a passerby who saw him.
“The phone was seized and it was discovered that he had everything to do with the game he was playing. The game was immediately stopped, his tally was cancelled, and all the points he had acquired were also cancelled. The case was referred to the disciplinary committee, who found him guilty and forwarded their recommendation to the board, and the board sustained that, and that was the reason I had to come out with a press release.”
But Effiong told The PUNCH that he would fight the 18-month suspension, insisting he was innocent.
He said, “There is an application we have on our phone called ‘Scrabble Expert.’ Every move I make and I miss the word, I write it down on my score sheet. After the game, I check which word I can play.
“It happened that I was checking for the words after my second game, while waiting for my opponent for the third game. While I was checking my words and writing them down on my score sheet, I typed some letters on my scrabble application and my opponent walked up to me and said we should start because others had started.
“Immediately I put my phone to sleep, I didn’t erase those words. I kept the phone on my seat and arranged the board 25 by 25 to let him know that the tiles were complete. I was leading as at that point, and he had made 11 turns. As I was about to make my 11th round, a guy, who I guess comes from the same state with my opponent, came around our board watching.
“He saw that I was leading and was going to win. I was absent-minded when he came, but the phone was on my seat, he walked away and came back and told me to stop, asking why I had my phone on my seat. He called the attention of others; when they checked my phone, it was a four-letter word which I last checked before my opponent called me to start, but I had seven-letter words on my rack. There was no way I would track the game and check my phone at the same time.
“I told them to ask my opponent if he noticed any form of cheating while we were playing. A few days later I received a fellow scrabble player, that I should admit that I cheated, but I refused, why would I admit to something that I didn’t do?
“Well, I will love to fight the case because I was wrongly accused of cheating.”
Nasarawa United central defender Tebo Franklin has said that reports claiming he is looking to leave The Solid Miners are false.
Rumours had been circulating that the player was keen elsewhere in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Tebo has been one of the shining lights of Nasarawa United as they zoomed to the top of the NPFL table with 14 points, making six starts so far.
Such an important role has led to speculation that he might be looking at opportunities elsewhere.
However, the player who models his game around Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has pledged his loyalty to the club for the foreseeable future: “I just want to deny what has been in the press about my transfer. It isn’t true at all. I am always committed to Nasarawa United.”
Former Asante Kotoko head coach, Maxwell Konadu has not been approached by Berekum Chelsea, JoySports sources has revealed.
This is contrary to media reports that he is headed to Berekum to take over the coaching job of the former premier league champions.
Maxwell, 48, was sacked by Asante Kotoko on December 17 after the Porcupines lost 1-0 to Great Olympics in the ongoing Ghana premier league.
He has been linked to the 2012 CAF Champions League participants by the media, but sources close to him described the reports as ‘fake news.’
Sources at Berekum Chelsea corroborated JoySports’ checks from the camp of the former Black Stars assistant coach, saying, the club has not at any point considered hiring him.
It is unclear if Chelsea will, in the near future consider engaging the services of Maxwell, but what is definite is that, the two parties has not spoken nor reached an agreement to work together.
Former Kumasi Asante Kotoko player Augustine Sefah, was surprised when he saw a viral photo and news story alleging that he had been installed a fetish priest in his hometown.
“I know nothing about it, it’s my own teammate Martin Antwi who caused those pictures to be circulating, I don’t even know the person,” Sefa told privately-owned Ghanasportspage news portal.
“It’s not me, I don’t even know the person and I don’t know how the thing kept circulating like that. One of my former teammates at Medeama also uploaded it on his Facebook page. The thing is circulating on his page,” Sefa insisted.
The photo in question, showed a man clad in a white cloth with a necklace made of leaves. According to Sefah, due to a strong resemblance to the 'priest,' he had to zoom in on the photo to be certain it was not him.
“Even myself the very first time I saw the picture I was contemplating where I might have gone to do such a thing, but when I zoomed into the picture before I realized it’s not me."
He disclosed how postings of the image on social media statuses of two colleagues had deepened the rumour.
“Martin Antwi sent it first to me on WhatsApp and Kofi Owusu used it for his status then people started circulating it on Facebook. People started congratulating me for becoming a chief priest or whatever, but I don’t know anything about what is going on.”
The right full back is currently without a club after leaving Kotoko. His contract with the club expired before the 2020/2021 Ghana Premier League season.
The 22-year old has been linked with a move to Real Spain on a free transfer when his current contract ends with Vida at the 2020 Apertura Tournament.
The Vida winger confirmed he had been contacted by the club but has not agreed to any deal as his focus
"The Real Spain thing is not concrete, they approached my contractor, but I have not signed anything, I must analyze my future well at the end of the tournament, the most important thing now is Life and finish in the best possible position," he clarified.
Quaye did not deny being contacted by the club but insisted he has not agree to any thing concrete with the club.
"it was only an approach to probe the possibility of playing with them: I do not deny that it is a compliment but I have nothing signed with them," he reiterated.
“Well, it’s very unfortunate with what I saw this morning that a journalist wrote that I said Ekong, Omeruo and even Jamilu Collins should not be in the National team. I do not think we can boast of better players than these,”Babangida told AOIFootball.com.
“So if a journalist wants to have a catchy headline to sell his papers, then he writes what I did not say because that isn’t what I said so he obviously wrote against what I said. I am very disappointed and that’s not my meaning to this.
“The said journalist has however to come out to apologize for what he wrote. If he has better players than the aforementioned guys, then he has to come out and introduce them to us.”
Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen has denied claims by Italian publication Tuttosport that Napoli medics accused Super Eagles Doctors of worsening his shoulder injury.
The report had emerged in Saturday’s edition of the Turin-based sports paper.
Tuttosport suggested the dislocation was healed, but that there was an inflammation to the tendon caused by an incorrect procedure to pop it back into place.
And following the claims, Osimhen took to his Twitter handle to debunk the report.
“Not true tho,” he wrote on Twitter.
Osimhen dislocated his shoulder during a 4-4 draw between Nigeria and Sierra Leone on November 13 in the qualifiers for the 2021 AFCON qualifiers in Benin.
It is not yet clear when he will be able to return to action for Napoli.